By Catherine Reeves, Lawyer at Metzger Wickersham
March is known for marking the beginning of spring, St. Patrick's Day and Daylight Savings Time. However, Americans also use the month to celebrate National Sleep Awareness Month.
Are you constantly feeling tired and at full capacity despite going to bed at a reasonable hour each night? Getting quality sleep is as important as getting enough hours of shut-eye. Deep, quality sleep can be hard to come by, but if you get it right, you'll realize just how much it benefits your day.
Imagine your brain has a bin. Throughout the day, documents are thrown into your brain-bin, accumulating faster if you are performing more activities or taking in new experiences. Some days, the ‘bin’ can reach full capacity before bedtime, but on days in which you just sit on the couch and watch TV, the ‘bin’ doesn’t accumulate that much.
As you sleep, your brain ensures that those ‘documents’ are properly filed so you can wake up feeling ready to take on the day with an empty ‘bin’. If you have a sleepless night or several in a row, you can imagine that there will be leftover ‘documents’ unorganized, thus filling up your brain-bin quickly. Which in turn will allow less space for new information and it can make you feel tired or burnt out.
Top Health Benefits of Sleep
Sleep is extremely important to the human body. Getting adequate sleep will give your body better tools to:
- reduce risks of chronic disease, depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses
- improve memory, efficiency, and concentration
- decrease risks of cancer thanks to natural melatonin
- minimize stress
5 Tips to Sleep More Soundly
Every person is different with respect to sleep-needs. Some adults require nine hours of sleep per night, and some are comfortable with only four hours. Although length of sleep is important, quality of sleep may be even more important. Consider the following tips to ensure quality sleep:
- Have a bedtime routine. Your brain likes routine, try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, even on the weekends.
- Strive to train your brain when it is time to go into “wind down” mode, which will allow you to drift off to sleep in no time. Take a bath before bed or create a soothing soundscape with a relaxing podcast, audiobook, guided meditation or listen to calming tunes or nature sounds. Keep the volume low and try to focus only on what you hear.
- Exercise but not too close before bedtime. Research has shown that exercise helps stabilize mood and decompress the mind. However, when you exercise right before bed, you’re not just pumping up your muscles, you’re pumping up your heart rate, too. So even though working out may make your body tired, it hinders sleep.
- Figure out your most comfortable sleeping atmosphere. Do you prefer a firm mattress or a soft mattress? Are you a side sleeper? Does sleeping on your stomach cause you to stop breathing and wake you up? Everyone has their preferences on temperature, blankets, and light levels. They also have preferences on mattresses, pillows, and sheets. You spend almost a third of your life in bed, so why would you buy the cheapest pillow that will make you uncomfortable? Discover what makes you most comfortable for the best quality sleep.
- Be careful about what you put in your body before bed. Caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and large meals can adversely affect your quality of sleep. Although drinking copious amounts of alcohol can certainly put you in a state of sleep, it oftentimes disrupts sleep throughout the night. Late night bites can cause heartburn and increase bathroom trips. Ingest in moderation for quality sleep.
6 Common Sleep Disorders
Lack of sleep can truly affect your quality of life. If you’re struggling to fall asleep or to stay asleep, or get blamed for snoring a lot, you could be one of the 70 million Americans suffering from one of these common sleep disorders:
- Sleep Apnea
- Sleepwalking (somnambulism)
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Sleep Paralysis
If you go two to three weeks with very little or poor sleep, you may have a sleep disorder. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss it.
Pain can also prevent an individual from sleeping well. If pain is causing you sleep loss and deceased job performance, it might be time to consider contacting Metzger Wickersham to discuss your personal injury, workers’ compensation, and/or Social Security claim.
If you have a sleep disorder or another health condition that prevents you from working, contact our attorneys today to discuss your potential disability claim. If your sleep problems are due to a personal injury or a work-related injury claim, we can help protect your rights!
For more information about your legal options, call us today at (888) 286-2850!